Sithly irresistible in Calgary

BILL LAYE - Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:48 AM ET

CALGARY - The force was strong in Calgary as hundreds of Star Wars fans -- many decked out as favourite characters -- turned up for the premiere of the series' final instalment.

And seeing Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith at a special Sun-sponsored screening last night was more than just a couple of hours of entertainment for Trevor Van Aalst and Kent McKay, who both turned up in their best Jedi knight robes.

"This is almost a religious experience for me," said Van Aalst, a 32-year-old shipper-receiver, who said he's seen the original movie close to 1,000 times.

More than 450 people showed up for the special advance showing to see the film's hero, Anakin Skywalker, finally turn to the Dark Side of the Force, morphing into the evil Darth Vader.

With the end of a landmark series of films spanning nearly three decades came bittersweet feelings for some, such as Rob Dougherty, 38.

"I just don't want to let go," said Dougherty, who teaches junior high drama at Tom Baines School when he's not suited up as a Death Star storm trooper.

Lee Sudrich and husband Rudy said they just couldn't wait to see how a sweet guy such as Anakin could be-come the fiendish Vader.

"It'll be nice to have everything wrapped up," said Sudrich, who dressed as Princess Leia.

To say the whole Star Wars franchise has been life-changing would be an understatement for Yrol Perera.

"It had a real effect on my childhood," said Perera, 32.

"It took me to a whole other galaxy ... I haven't stopped loving it."

And being able to take his 10-year-old son Cobi to the first night's showing had Paul Reeves "more than excited.

"It's going to be good," said Reeves, a 35-year-old computer technician.

The pair were ready for action with their Jedi action wear and light sabres .

"It's just cool ... I like the light sabre battles," said Cobi.


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